Late last week, Johnny’s groups SixTONES and Snow Man both surprise-released new music videos on YouTube, fueling rumors they may reunite for another duel-group single. It turns out that Snow Man’s Juicy heralds the release of a new studio album. We’ll need to wait to see where SixTONES’ Party People ends up.
Both of these songs feel designed to appeal to a wide, global audience. Since debut, SixTONES have waffled between eccentric alt-rock with one foot in the indie world and a glossier pop sound. Party People leans in the latter direction, enlisting producers familiar to K-pop listeners and opting for an upbeat, celebratory sound.
Bounding along a clap-happy beat and retro rock influences, Party People has energy to spare. The members cast off catchy lines throughout the verses, though the structure is more “sing-talk” than we’re used to hearing from Johnny’s. Party People’s chorus is more effusive, delivering a big, melodic hook that layers SixTONES’ vocals into a larger-than-life force. It’s a memorable centerpiece that’s very catchy, if a bit familiar, in execution. A brassy instrumental break builds interest before Party People crashes into its boisterous climax. The track feels simultaneously polished and rough-around-the-edges – a contrast that has marked much of SixTONES’ music and gives them an identifiable sound. I’m still hoping they’ll revisit the bombastic rock of their debut year, but this is a fun detour that should garner new fans.